Why Do I Get Light Headed When I Workout Legs?

If you’re wondering why you sometimes feel lightheaded when you workout your legs, you’re not alone. It’s a common issue that can be caused by a few different things. But don’t worry, we’ll help you figure it out.


Working out your legs can make you feel a bit light-headed due to the intense physical activity and the strain on your circulatory system. When your muscles become fatigued, they require more oxygen in order to continue working properly, which means your heart has to pump blood faster to make up for the difference. When this happens, the amount of oxygen in your bloodstream becomes lower than normal, leading to a light-headed sensation. Additionally, exercising with poor form or dehydration can also lead to light-headedness during leg workouts.

To help prevent this issue, be sure you are performing each exercise correctly and doing adequate warm-up and cool-down exercises before and after exercising. Staying sufficiently hydrated can also help mitigate light-headedness during leg workouts since it helps ensure that enough oxygen is delivered throughout your body. Lastly, engaging in aerobic activities such as jogging or walking prior to leg strength training can help increase the amount of oxygen circulating through your body and help prevent dizziness while working out legs.

Common Causes

Lightheadedness during a leg workout can be a scary experience. But fear not – it is a common symptom and there are many potential causes. Some causes could be as simple as dehydration or low blood sugar levels, while other causes could be related to more serious cardiovascular issues. In this article we will look at some of the common causes of lightheadedness when working out your legs.


Dehydration is one of the most common causes of feeling light-headed during a workout, especially if you are pushing yourself hard. Even slight dehydration can lead to fatigue and dizziness, so it is important to make sure you are hydrated with water or an electrolyte drink before, during and after physical activity. You should also be mindful of your levels of sodium and other electrolytes, as they can become lost through sweat during a strenuous workout. Additionally, when you’re exercising outside in the sun on a hot day it’s important to make sure you’re drinking more than usual—if possible, add extra water or an electrolyte drink to your hydration plan. Be especially mindful if you feel light-headed while exercising in more extreme temperatures like a hot yoga class.

Low Blood Sugar

One of the most common causes for feeling light headed when you exercise is low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). This is typically a result of inadequate carbohydrate intake prior to physical activity, especially in more intense workouts. As you exercise, your muscles use up their stores of glucose (sugar) to provide energy. When these stores are diminished, your body will raise its natural adrenaline levels as a reaction and this can lead to feelings of light headedness or dizziness.

To prevent this from happening, you should aim to eat a balanced meal of carbohydrates and protein 1-2 hours before working out and follow it with a snack 15 minutes prior. Additionally, it’s important to make sure that you stay hydrated by drinking ample amounts of water during your workout as dehydration can make the symptoms worse. Make sure that if you feel dizzy during or after exercising that you stop immediately and allow yourself time to rest and recover; this will reduce the risk of any more serious health issues from occurring.

Low Blood Pressure

Low blood pressure, or hypotension, is one of the most common causes of feeling light-headed when working out legs. Low blood pressure is defined as a systolic measurement (upper number) less than 90mmHg and/or a diastolic measurement (lower number) less than 60mmHg. In lay terms, this means that there is not enough pressure for the heart to pump blood against gravity back up to the head resulting in symptoms such as being light headed.

Other causes of feeling light-headed when working out legs can include dehydration, low oxygen levels due to strenuous exercise, and electrolyte imbalance. Symptoms associated with dehydration include headaches, dizziness, confusion, and fainting spells; while low oxygen levels during exercise may cause feelings of shortness of breath and difficulty concentrating. Additionally, changes in electrolytes like potassium and sodium can shift the body’s internal balance leading to symptoms such as dizziness and light-headedness.

Lastly, it’s important to understand any underlying medical conditions that could be contributing to your symptom onset when working out legs – such as diabetes or anemia – that might need special attention or evaluation from a medical professional. If you are consistently feeling light-headed when exercising your legs it’s important to consider all possible causes above so that you can take appropriate action for your wellbeing.


Anemia is one of the most common causes of lightheadedness when working out your legs. It’s a condition characterized by a low red blood cell count, which carries oxygen to muscles and organs. When working out your legs, you are using up a large amount of oxygen in your body and this can cause a feeling of lightheadedness due to the lack of oxygen available for muscle contraction. Signs and symptoms associated with anemia include pale skin, shortness of breath, weakness, fatigue, dizziness or lightheadedness. If you have any signs and symptoms that could indicate an underlying condition causing your lightheadedness during leg workouts, it’s important to visit your medical provider so they can make a diagnosis and provide appropriate treatment.


When exercising, it is important to not only make sure that you are exerting yourself properly, but also making sure that your temperature is not too high. Overheating can cause a feeling of lightheadedness when working out, as the body can no longer effectively pump blood and oxygen throughout the body. While this feeling of lightheadedness typically passes quickly when sitting or lying down, it can be an indication of underlying issues such as dehydration, poor circulation or breathing problems. To ensure your safety and well-being when working out legs, cardiac arrest should never be ignored.

Common causes of overheating during leg workout include:
-Insufficient hydration: It is important to drink plenty of fluids before and during exercise to replace water and electrolytes lost through sweating.
-Not changing posture frequently enough: When working out legs for an extended period of time, it is important to switch up postures frequently in order to maintain proper blood flow throughout the body.
-Excess clothing or excess layers: Wearing too many layers or clothes not suitable for exercise while working out legs can lead to rapid heating up leading to lightheadedness.
-High humidity and/or heat with no air circulation: During hot weather or in extremely humid environments without adequate air flow and ventilation, your heart rate will increase as your body tries harder than normal to cool itself off, leading to feelings of lightheadedness.


Working out your legs is essential for overall fitness and health, but it can also lead to feeling light headed. This is due to the lack of oxygen flow to the brain when you are putting extreme strain on your body. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to prevent light-headedness from happening. Let’s look at some of the prevention methods that can help you stay safe and dizziness-free while you work out.

Drink Plenty of Water

When exercising, it is important to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids. During the course of an exercise routine, your body will start to sweat out fluids and electrolytes. Low fluid levels and dehydration can lead to feelings of lightheadedness and dizziness. Becoming dehydrated is especially common when exercising in hot weather, or after intense activity.

To avoid becoming dehydrated when you exercise, you should typically drink between 10-12 ounces of water before beginning a workout. You should also continue drinking 8-10 ounces of water during the activity, as well as enough fluid to replace your perspiration losses after you have finished working out. In order to determine exactly how much water is needed for proper hydration, consider tracking your level of perspiration and assessing any changes in your weight before and after an exercise session.

Being properly hydrated not only helps keep you from becoming lightheaded during a workout but also helps boost energy levels for physical performance and helps lubricate joints for enhanced mobility. If plain water doesn’t agree with your stomach or mouth feel free to experiment with flavored waters, sports drinks or even juices during workouts that require extreme intensity or last longer than 45 minutes at a time.

Eat a Balanced Diet

Consuming a balanced diet is key to preventing lightheadedness during exercise. Eating a balanced diet ensures that your body is receiving the right nutrients to fuel all of your daily activities. This includes exercising, which requires extra energy and minerals to support increases in intensity and duration. Having a deficiency in any essential nutrient can make it difficult for the body to produce energy while exercising. A balanced diet ensures that you are consuming all essential vitamins, minerals and macronutrients at the necessary levels for optimal health and performance.

It is also important to eat enough before and after exercising to maintain adequate levels of blood sugar. Low blood sugar levels can also cause lightheadedness during exercise as the body does not have enough glucose stored in the muscles to help generate energy quickly. Eating a pre-workout snack or meal 1–3 hours before exercise can optimize blood sugar levels during exercise, helping prevent dizziness or lightheadedness related issues due to low blood sugar levels while working out, particularly when exercising legs. Post-exercise meals should include complex carbohydrates like whole grains, coupled with lean proteins (e.g., nuts, legumes) in order to immediately restore muscle glycogen stores depleted during intense activities like weightlifting or running drills and keep hunger away during post-workout recovery time.

Wear Loose-Fitting Clothing

Before you hit the gym, it is important to wear loose-fitting clothing that provides enough ventilation to your body and does not restrict your movement. Wearing tight-fitting clothing can prevent oxygen from circulating throughout your body, resulting in light-headedness or dizziness. If possible, try to stick with lighter fabrics like cotton or polyester blends which will help keep air moving freely. Additionally, wearing a hat or headband while exercising can also be beneficial in keeping sweat out of your eyes and can help reduce lightheadedness due to heat exhaustion.

Take Breaks

When you workout, it’s important not to over-exert yourself or push your body beyond its limits. If you feel lightheaded after exercising, or anytime during your workout, take a break and rest. During the break, sit down and take some deep breaths to help oxygenate your body. If possible, elevate your feet. Proper hydration and consuming electrolytes beforehand can also help prevent lightheadedness during workouts.

In addition to taking breaks throughout your workout session when needed, it is important to warm up prior to more intense exercises. This will ensure that your body is ready for the activity ahead and decrease the chances of lightheadedness from happening due to sudden exertion from high-intensity activities.

It may also be helpful to focus on form and technique when exercising in order to maintain proper blood flow throughout the body and avoid feeling dizzy or lightheaded during a workout session. There are many stretches for legs that can help improve range of motion as well as strengthen them for better performance when working out regularly. Listening carefully to your body’s signals can benefit you in the long run by preventing serious injuries from pushing too hard too fast — so remember: If you feel like you’re going too hard, slow down or take a break!

Exercise in a Cool Environment

To help prevent a lightheaded feeling when working out, it is wise to exercise in an environment that is cool. The combination of heat and physical exertion can cause the body to work harder and faster than it is used to. This can lead to electrolyte disturbance, which then causes feelings of lightheadedness. Exercising in a cool environment allows for a slow increase of body temperature and greater safety for the individual.

It is also important to focus on hydration before, during and after workout sessions. Make sure you are drinking adequate amounts of fluids throughout your workout routine and that you are replenishing lost fluids with the appropriate sports drink or electrolyte-balanced water after exercising (especially if sweat was profuse). Dehydration increases your chance of feeling lightheaded or dizzy during workouts.

Additionally, make sure your workouts are adapted appropriately for your level of fitness and that you do not overexert yourself performing high intensity exercises. Overexertion can lead to overtraining, which involves an excessive amount of muscle damage leading to a decrease in performance level due to fatigue accumulation. This fatigue can lower oxygen levels available to muscles resulting in feelings of lightheadedness or dizziness during exercise performances – ultimately creating an undesired outcome for workout routines.

When to See a Doctor

In some cases, you may experience light-headedness or dizziness after a workout session that should be checked out by a healthcare provider. It is important to seek medical attention if the feeling of light-headedness or dizziness persists or is extreme, if it is associated with nausea and vomiting, chest pain, irregular heart rate, fainting spells or any other unusual symptoms.

It can also be important to note how often your light-headedness occurs when you step up the intensity of your workouts. For example, if you feel noticeably light-headed during sprints and/or jumping jacks at the end of a session but don’t notice it on other exercises like squats and lunges then this can indicate an issue related to an underlying cardiovascular condition.

Your doctor may order an EKG test which measures your heart’s electrical activity during exercise as well as various lab tests including complete blood cell count (CBC), electrolytes such as sodium & potassium levels in your body, renal (kidney) function tests etc., or recommend certain lifestyle changes such as avoiding dehydration before exercise to help prevent further incident. It is best to rule out any underlying medical issues before continuing an intense workout routine.


In conclusion, it is not uncommon to experience lightheadedness after intense exercise, especially when working on the legs. This is because of the body’s waste products, lower oxygen levels or increased stress levels. Various steps can be taken to prevent or reduce lightheadedness when exercising your legs, such as breathing exercises and slowly ramping up intensity over time. However, if you experience lightheadedness often or for extended periods of time, it is important to consult a medical professional. Lightheadedness can be caused by a variety of other health conditions that may require additional treatment and lifestyle modifications.

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